I thought Iowa State would be a bit better offensively as far as the traditional stats are concerned, but that’s really not the case. And they’re not terrible by any means, but I thought that ISU would have better rushing statistics, but I will say that I’m a bit surprised that the Cyclones are better passing the ball than I would have expected.
The tough thing for ISU has been putting the ball in the end zone, only 0.35 points per play is pretty low in the grand scheme of things. I’d guess that they get more field goals than they’d like on offense.
Defensively, they appear to be better than Texas Tech in a lot of metrics and they’re maybe the most susceptible in stopping the run, which is not good for Texas Tech considering they really don’t have a running back that can punish the Cyclone defense.
As far as Texas Tech is concerned, the Texas Tech offense continues to slide a bit, while the defense continues their slide as well. The things that are constant are the third down conversions for the offense and the offense is also scoring at incredibly high levels inside the red zone. The problem is that the defense is almost equally as bad inside the red zone as the offense is and that’s problematic.
The advanced stats tell a bit of a different story for Iowa State. They’re sorta middle-of-the-road on offense and the numbers sorta confirm the traditional stats in that ISU isn’t that great running the ball (Texas Tech will likely cure that) and that they’re a good passing team, just not an explosive passing team. So, statistically, Texas Tech should have a pretty distinct advantage over Iowa State, but they play things tight at home (see Oklahoma on Thursday night).
Defensively, this is where I’m a bit surprised, they’re in the bottom one-third in terms of S&P+ and that surprises me. This is, without question, a defense that likes to bend but not break and I’ll be interested to see how that philosophy plays out with what we’ve seen thrown up agains the Texas Tech offenses since the TCU game. Notice the ISO points on defense, that’s a measurement of the defense giving up big plays and ISU is both top 20 (or thereabouts) in both rushing and passing.
I’d imagine that we’ll see more of the same, 8 men in the defensive backfield and make whoever is running the ball beat you. Texas Tech will have to force Iowa State to adjust defensively in running the ball, otherwise, it could be a long game.